On what could well be the worst day of the year—by a fairly wide margin—for stocks, futures activity smashed through to record levels.
Surging volume was pushing the Chicago Mercantile Exchange toward a single-day high, with 30 million contracts traded by 1:30 p.m. EDT. That easily topped the 26.9 million on May 29, 2013, according to a spokesman.
Early in the session, traders flocked to U.S. Treasury note futures, a move that helped push the benchmark government debt issue's yield below 2 percent for the first time since May 2013.
Trading also spiked, however, for eurodollar futures, in moves indicating a sentiment that interest rates are likely heading lower. (Eurodollar is not a trade of the euro versus the dollar, but rather a contract based on the yield of U.S. dollar-denominated deposits held across the world.)
That would mark a "sea change" in market sentiment, according to Andrew Wilkinson, who monitors options moves in his role as chief market analyst at Interactive Brokers.